You’ll always need somewhere to stay when traveling so we comb through every item on this list to compare prices each time we head to a new destination. We are budget- to mid-range travelers and select accommodations based on cost (lower), reviews (3 or more out of 5), location (close to train or bus station, convenience stores and/or food), with no-frills basic necessities (bed, western toilet), and non-smoking rooms. Extras like free breakfast, luxurious design, gym, pool, wifi are low on the list. While hostels are cheap for solo travelers, it typically costs the same if not cheaper to just get a private room for couples. We typically stay in Airbnb’s or use other hotel booking services listed below.
For long-term stays, we search online for local apartment listings or look for a real estate agent. We stayed in Chiang Mai for $400/month for 2 months ($13/night) via real estate agent and Kyoto for $625/month ($21/night) via an online search. We have also heard great things about house-sits, which offer free lodging with an exchange of your caretaking services for pets, plants, house, etc., but we haven’t managed to find one that fits our travel dates and duration, location, and service demands.